Slippery Rock, Specifically McConnells Mill is a lovely place any time of year. It’s a place that’s visited by many and in the recent pandemic attendance has risen by almost 95%, that’s amazing that so many are getting outside! I caution you though, please remember to social distance and wear a mask inside the visitor centers. Please Please Please pack out what you bring in! Don’t leave trash!!
With so many needing to get some fresh air, I am one of them. Admittingly, I’ve found it hard to get to the forest this year and I’ve mostly avoided high traffic parks. So, when I want to get out and go somewhere sort-of remote and close I head to McConnells Mill. There are a few trails that I know of that can get you out pretty remote with a slim chance to run into anyone.
The day I went rain was in the forecast and I was hedging a bet that would keep folks away. I was largely right. I got to the park around sunrise and set off on one of my favorite trails. It meanders along Slippery Rock Creek and depending how high or low the water is, boulders appear or disappear. Since it’s been quite some time since I was on this trail, I took my time to explore all the little nooks and crannies against the stream and to my surprise and delight caught a glimpse of a baby river otter!! It started to drizzle as I started up the trail away from the stream and deeper into the forest, passing hardwoods and pines. Rain really started to come down and my rain jacket failed, I was soaking wet from inside out, I decided that before I got too cold to head back.
Once I got back to Eckert Bridge, I decided to also check out the new trail that was laid down to Breakneck Falls. This used to be an unmark trail if you knew where to go to the falls. Now there is a sign and it begins with newly put down gravel. The trail is fairly flat all the way to Breakneck Falls. Once you get to Breakneck Falls, there is a new sign designating a trail to the top. Be careful here as it’s not well marked and very steep.
All and all it was an enjoyable well needed day out in the forest, complete with rain and mist.
Please be safe in these uncertain times. Please continue to support your local park system and take care of them for others. Please don’t go rushing out to these places if you feel sick in any way.